Northern Virginia is full of talented artisans who make everything from jewelry to purses to pottery, all of which is typically displayed and sold at seasonal festivals and fairs. Yet this year, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread, many makers of the region are losing the chance to showcase their work.
That’s where Elizabeth Todd of The Shoe Hive steps in. With the launch of her initiative, Courtyard of Creators, Todd is giving five skilled craftswomen of the DMV the chance to debut their products at pop-ups hosted outside her space.
“Those events are gone, and nobody knows when they are coming back,” said Todd in a recent press release of craft shows and festivals. “I had a moment of clarity recently and figured out a small way I might be able to help. I have a beautiful courtyard that is the perfect spot for me to host local designers. This isn’t a trunk show; it is more of a “pop-out,” a store within (or outside) a store. After some final brainstorming of the idea—Courtyard of Creators was born.”
From now until Oct. 25 on various weekends, five women vendors will set up shop at The Shoe Hive, with the theme of this inaugural series highlighting women of color. The very first weekend of the initiative will take place from Aug. 14 through Aug. 16, featuring DC-based jewelry designer Cynthia Spriggs of 3Shades Chic.
In the coming weeks, The Shoe Hive will be taking applications for women of color makers and creators, all of whom must be available to host pop-ups on the following weekends: Sept. 11 through Sept. 13, Sept. 25 through Sept. 27, Oct. 9 through Oct. 11 and Oct. 23 through Oct. 25. The deadline to apply is Aug. 20, and if selected, The Shoe Hive will supply a tent, tables and the courtyard space.
Be on the lookout for other makers coming to the space in the future too, as Todd and her team plan on continuing this women-focused initiative through 2021.
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